Shifting back; How to Prepare for what’s next in the Contact Centre – Ep 1

Clare Lomax, VP Sales for TTEC in EMEA, summarises the first Directors Club Tomorrow’s World series of webinars; Shifting back; How to Prepare for what’s next in the Contact Centre

CX leaders were forced to act fast to achieve business continuity amidst the COVID-19 outbreak and as IBM’s, Ginni Rometty, recently said “there is no doubt this (pandemic) will speed up everyone’s transition to be a digital business”. In this webinar we looked at what’s been working in the contact centre, what’s not, and what you can do now to move your organisation beyond survival mode.

Crisis management is driving change and here is a summary of what we are seeing.

Digital-first business

Organisations are adopting digital first strategies. Digital transformation tools were once seen as an investment that could be saved another time. Not anymore. Customer-facing organisations have quickly woken up to the mission-critical benefits of digital tools when they have had to deploy solutions quickly. RPA/RDA, AI-enabled learning, conversational messaging, and cloud-based systems are just some of the digitally driven CX enhancements that are here to last. In many cases, companies have already seen costs decrease while contact resolution, employee productivity, and customer satisfaction increase through a mix of people and technology to deliver great customer experiences.

Distributed contact centre workforces

The crisis has completely turned the contact centre model on its head. Traditional industries with only a few centralised brick-and-mortar locations or those with limited remote capabilities were surprised by the speed that business continuity plans had to be enacted. Organisations that fared better had a distributed global footprint already in place, so when the unexpected came, they had resources across the map and were ready to disperse. Work-from-home proved to be a viable option for companies that had never considered it.

Post-crisis the old distribution model will be forever changed into a hybrid of remote and brick-and-mortar work. De-centralised physical locations allow for maximum diversification in skills, resources, and locations. The flexibility of being able to deploy workers from anywhere creates a workforce that can be used to suit various volumes and support needs, depending on the situation.

Disaster-proof CX scalability and remote resources

Leaders will be more heavily prepared for the unexpected moving forward. Natural disasters and human factors will always be cause for unexpected volumes of support. The flexibility of service capabilities brought on by remote work will enable organisations to more readily deploy emergency staff in times of distress.

When future customer demand surges unexpectedly, businesses that are agile and can scale support capacity quickly will be invaluable. Additionally, organisations will need to invest in infrastructure and digitally driven training to have all the pieces in place in case the immediate need for contact centre scale arises.

Expanded CX self-service

Massive effort was needed to support the most urgent healthcare, financial services, travel, and public sector questions when the pandemic hit. The shift of available human resources to the most pressing issues made self-service deflection a strategic imperative. Smart IVR, online FAQs, automated chatbots, and enhanced knowledgebases became critical call deflection solutions for non-emergency calls and common questions.

The push for self-service has enabled organisations to get more out of their service capacity with the same units of labour in this time of emergency. The advancements made here will be incredibly useful for providing customers with relevant information quickly without having to force everyone into the voice channel.

It’s also worth noting the investment made in CX knowledgebases will be critical down the road. Self-service is only as successful as the core knowledge assets and the applications that use them. For example, augmented attended service where chatbots are being deployed to ride along with agents to suggest relevant content and services to make their jobs easier.

Unconventional corporate security policies

People are not only on the move, desktops, laptops, and all the tools necessary to make a brick-and-mortar centre run had to be brought over or shipped out. The influx of tech changing places opened a huge gap in security concerns.

As remote work becomes more common, security and policy factors need to be planned for. Security leaders will have to rethink what media can be allowed on agent’s computers, blocking USB storage or enforcing hardware restrictions. Alternative monitoring through video programmes such as Zoom will be also essential to assess an agent’s workplace, as well as providing that valuable face-to-face contact.

Taking the next steps

If you are not already, think about how technology might become a part of your processes and practices going forward to provide the best customer experience. Consider what you need to address in the short term, for example a messaging service to assist with large number of enquiries can be set up within weeks.

There are a number of technologies out there and experts to help you – choose wisely.

Watch Episode 1 by Clicking Here 

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